News Update


India vs England: England names left-arm spinner Tom Hartley for first test

Left-armer Hartley, 24, joins Jack Leach and Rehan Ahmed as slow bowlers in the XI, with Mark Wood as the only quick.

“Looking back at previous tours, you can see how spin could give us a better chance,” skipper Ben Stokes told BBC Sport.

“We feel having the three out-and-out spinners will give us the best chance.”

Stokes has already revealed that Ben Foakes will return to keep wicket in his first Test since February, while batsman Harry Brook has left the tour due to personal reasons.

Hartley, from Lancashire, has 40 wickets in 20 first-class matches and two one-day international appearances for England.

In making his Test debut, he will lead an unconventional England attack on a very dry pitch.

Ahmed, a 19-year-old leg-spinner, has only played one Test, while experienced spinner Leach has not played for England since June due to a back injury.

Wood, the solitary seamer, has a history of injuries.

“The decision was based on looking at the pitch and determining who we could get more out of,” said Stokes, who is unable to bowl due to surgery on his left knee.

“Should we play two seamers or an extra spinner?” It is not disrespectful to the seamstresses we have out. Pitches and conditions may alter as the trip progresses, so we may need to consider a different dynamic.”

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England squad: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.

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Uncapped 20-year-old Shoaib Bashir, England’s fourth spinner, has forced to return to the UK due to a visa delay.

Bashir, who is of Pakistani ancestry, is anticipated to be able to enter India this weekend.



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